Golden Princess, the biggest cruise ship ever to be based in Melbourne, is bound for the Victorian capital.
With Australia’s love affair with cruising holidays at an all-time high, Princess Cruises has announced it will base a record five ships in Australia next year.
The 108,000-tonne ship accommodates 2600 passengers. “More than half her staterooms have private balconies, while she also offers a beautiful spa, four swimming pools and 10 restaurants and cafes, so we think she’ll be very popular with Victorians.”
Golden Princess will make her maiden visit to Australia in October 2015, arriving in Sydney before moving to Melbourne.
Her five-month season will include holidays to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tasmania, with fares starting from $1849 per person for a 13-night New Zealand cruise.
As part of Princess Cruises’ record five-ship program, Golden Princess will join Diamond Princess in Australian waters for the 2015-16 summer, while Sun Princess will remain in Australia next winter, joining sister ships Dawn and Sea Princess in providing cruises year round.
Princess Cruises is launching its first summer season of cruises from Fremantle, doubling the cruise line’s Western Australian offering to give the state its first year-round cruise program, as well as Princess Cruises’ biggest ever presence in Brisbane, with Queenslanders set to enjoy nine months of sailings in 2015-16.
Mr Allison said the record fleet would increase the cruise line’s local capacity by 35 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014.
He said Australians now spend more nights on Princess Cruises’ ships than on any other line, with Australia its second biggest market after the US.
For the first time, all ships will offer onboard pricing using Australian dollars as they deliver a program of more than 80 cruises from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Fremantle and Auckland.
Fifty two painters, led by artists Greg Allen, Amanda Hyatt and John Lovett have now returned to Australia after a wonderful two weeks aboard the “Sun Princess” as it cruised to New Zealand.
The tour commenced in Sydney and in the two day trans Tasman crossing the painters settled down to work under the expert tuition and guidance of their selected artist.
Each day at sea began with a painting demo in the Shooting Stars Nightclub which the group had reserved especially for them on their days at sea. After their respective workshops, individual painters were free to continue their painting or, as many did, explore the ship or participate in many of the activities on board.
Day three and the “Sun Princess” had arrived at the Bay of Islands in the north island of New Zealand This was our first land based painting day. A quick trip by ferry to Russell and the three workshops then commenced with each artist selecting a location along the beautiful seashore of this historic town. After lunch the group then enjoyed a brief visit to Waitangi Treaty House before rejoining the ship once again. After all this painting and sightseeing, everyone had worked up quite an appetite for dinner which was admirably attended to in the Regency or Marquis dining rooms.
For the next seven days, the painting group visited towns and cities along the eastern seaboard, including Auckland – a wonderful painting location was selected by the artists at Devonport across the harbour affording magnificent views of the City of Sails, as Auckland is known – Tauranga and a visit to Wai O Tapu thermal wonderland at Rotorua and the art deco town of Napier. The capital of New Zealand, Wellington, completed our last city on the north island before we crossed the strait, which separates the north and south islands.
Our first port of call in the south island was idyllic Christchurch, where the groups set up their painting easels alongside the beautiful Avon River and its historic bridges. In the afternoon a couple of the groups continued their painting in Cathedral Square, the scene of much devastation with the terrible earthquake only a short few days after our visit. Our last port of call in the south island was Dunedin with its Scottish heritage. The day culminated in a visit to historic Olverston House which was widely acclaimed by all
After all of the excitement of painting and visiting in such wonderful surroundings many of the group certainly would have liked more painting time on land. However, these thoughts soon disappeared as the ship sailed through Fiordland in the south west corner of New Zealand. This magnificent scenery was made all the more brilliant under a bright blue sky.
During the next couple of days the group settled once more into their final on board painting workshops, buoyed by the critiques of their paintings by the artists and the wonderful displays of their favourite works of art, for all to see.
A highlight of this time was the group painting by Greg, Amanda and John as they painted a large three sheet painting of the “Sun Princess” as it toured Milford Sound. One of our group kindly donated this to the ship and this was gratefully accepted by the Captain – we hope that this work of art will be on display for all future travellers on the “Sun Princess” to see.
This was first painting workshop / cruise conducted in this part of the world by The International Artist Magazine and Travelrite International and was judged by all as being a great success – a great way to combine their love of painting under the watchful eye of internationally acclaimed artists whilst enjoying the sightseeing of our wonderful neighbouring country.
The 2012 Art Festival Cruise to Queensland is now on sale visit the following link for details.